The CITB Be Fair Framework – 6 reasons your company should do Be Fair

RLDavies Awarded CITB Be Fair Accreditation (1) 17.9.14
R L Davies Awarded CITB Be Fair Accreditation

The CITB Be Fair framework is now up and running – we are the only provider licensed to deliver and consult on the framework and we have already signed up the first few companies including E R Williams and Emanuel Whittaker and MWT Civil Engineering. The CITB have pledged £100,000 to the first 100 companies to pass the framework and if that’s not reason enough to sign up we thought we would give you six more.

  1. Your clients are doing it – main contractors who have already worked through the framework include Vinci, Morgan Sindall, Wates, Graham, ISG and Lend Lease. What’s more the Highways Agency has backed the framework alongside Crossrail, and where infrastructure goes, the rest of public procurement follows.
  2. The industry needs it the challenges the industry has around retention, skills shortage, recruitment and equality are mostly structural. This means that they are bigger than any one company; therefore individual companies looking to overcome these challenges are likely to have to work extremely hard.  Even then they risk key talent that they have developed being poached by others who didn’t put the time in earlier. This means that the main way to overcome these challenges is working together as a sector and agreeing to key areas of improvement. This is where Be Fair comes in; it subtly changes industry culture and practices in a way that moves everyone forward.
  3. It gives more than it gets – it contains a ridiculous amount of advice and support. The framework aims to change the sector, not simply run up costs. So whilst you can pay for additional advice and guidance to help you though, you don’t have to. The framework is prescriptive and provides supporting documents so that even if you have no clue what you’re doing, as long as you follow the documentation, (at the accredited level at least) you should pass.
  4. It’s designed for industry and understands its challenges – it’s designed to embed change, through modules that fit the industry including supply chain and site environment alongside more traditional areas like organisational employment, policies and procedures and leadership.  This means that more than one person can take ownership of each module (especially in larger companies) to spread the load and the ownership. The framework is behaviourally assessed, which means that even if you have the best paperwork in the world it won’t matter if your staff are not brought in. This allows us to credit the best in the industry, not just those that look good on paper.
  5. It works for your business – already the framework has received a lot of praise with companies reporting a 10% rise in positive attitudes to equality and a 5% increase in overall employee engagement, increases in communications and motivation as well as positive attitudes across the business. Our stance on equality is that it should benefit business – that’s the point after all; equality is a solution to business need.
  6. CITB and the industry are backing it as a strategy for positive cultural change the industry has aligned behind the framework from the CITB itself to the UKCG; this was a strategic agreement that this is the way forward for industry. Worried that different constructors would adopt different standards for their supply chains, industry groups and boards got together to agree one framework for the sector. That framework is the CITB Be Fair framework.

Next steps: so if you want to find out more about the framework you can call our offices on 0151 706 8132 for a no obligation overview, email one of our business advisors paul@constructingequality.co.uk or Patrick@constructingequality.co.uk or visit the CITB website.

“It’s just what we do” – The importance of recognising and sharing inclusivity best practice on site.

Blog PictureFor the past 7 years we have put out calls for good practice from the industry and the main response has been work that has been generated from a head office environment. As an ex-site dweller I always suspected that if we scratched the surface we would find a raft of good practice on sites across the country that was not being shouted about. So scratch we did, and overwhelmed we were. Due to contractual constraints we are unable at the moment to talk about some of the great work we have seen being carried out on some of our partner projects so we set off to a local site to find out what best practice we could see being carried out more generally. The results were impressive.

Since it was across the way, and since ISG kindly offered, we popped over to the Liverpool Exhibition Centre to see how they were addressing fairness, inclusion and respect at site level.

Not only did Paul Cunningham, the Health and Safety Co-ordinator on the job take the time to induct us and show us around, but Frank Joyce, the Project Director, was kind enough to give us an overview of the job itself.

The site was an example of what I would now expect to see in a job of that size – including turnstiles, up-to-date health and safety practice and good welfare facilities. The impressive bit was the attention to detail – the thought that had gone into the decisions made and the people involved in making them. That’s what will make a difference to not only the experience of people on-site, but also productivity and the bottom line.

We have selected our top three favourite best practice examples from the site; these are things that not only affect Health and Safety but fairness, inclusion and respect as well.

“Scrap ‘near miss’; it’s ‘hazard recognition’” – The site has changed the terminology of near misses to hazard recognition which may feel like a small, and perhaps insignificant, point but I would argue it’s quite the opposite. ‘Near miss’ holds connotations of blame –  ”someone near missed”, and by reporting it you are either owning up or ‘ratting out’ which is not an appealing proposition, whichever way you look at it. ‘Hazard recognition’ takes on an entirely different tone; it suggests the person recognising the hazard has done something of use, possessed enough skill to recognise the problem and been positive in their action. Whilst this best practice is aimed at health and safety, we would say that the behavioural implication of the words has a vast impact on individuals feeling ok to report challenges in their environment in a way that makes them feel respected. ISG also put up free-to-use anonymous hazard recognition report sheets.

Green, Amber and Red – The use of yellow and red cards is not new in the sector; we also advise them for use when challenging negative behaviour. Where ISG have taken this a step forward is the introduction of a green card to reward positive action from site staff. If you get a green card, your name goes into a hat and every month the winner gets £50 to spend on health and safety equipment. This positive recognition again takes a step away from the historic idea that health and safety is something that you do wrong and starts to show the real benefit of it as something that’s done right. We feel that the approach to fairness inclusion and respect should start here learning the valuable lessons from past work in the sector.

NI Numbers to check ‘right to work’ – Gang–mastering is a problem across the sector, and knowing who has a right to work can be problematic. In order to ensure people are not taken advantage of we need to address this as a matter of urgency. ISG have done started down this path by collecting the NI numbers of people working on site, this allows them to match up to their CSCS cards and ensure they are registered to work.  

These small elements of work build up to a bigger picture of the industry, it’s this style of thinking and these types of changes to working practice that will enable us as a sector to attract and retain the talent we need.

Our thanks again to ISG for letting us have a look around.

If you would like Constructing Equality to visit your site to see the best practice work you are carrying out, let us know or send over your own case study.

Industry Feedback from our Construction Specific Online Equality Training

Over the course of this month we’ve been gearing up for the launch of our online learning. The courses are written, and they have a content that is not only highly informative but also interactive and engaging.

But how can we be sure? The only way to tell was to send out samples to companies from the construction industry and ask them to test it for us, and send in feedback. We sent our samples to leading industry organisations including BAM, Costain, HochtiefMurphy Joint Venture, Seddon, Shepherd, Robertson, CIC, CITB and Miller.

Results

100% of testers said that: The objectives were clearly outlined and met, The content was informative and useful, The presentation had the right level of interactivity, There were enough resources supplied and they all liked us presenting it.

Question One Picture (2) PB 16.05.2014

Question Three Picture (1) PB 16.05.2014

The respondents also commented that the construction industry focus was very useful, as the training addressed the specific challenges faced by the sector. They also pointed out that they felt the training was engaging for the potential audience, and that the interactive aspects were good. The clarity of presentation was highlighted as a strong point, with the information we were conveying being concise and thorough.

There were a few technical issues brought to our attention, but they have now been remedied.

Question Liked Construction (1) PB 16.05.2014

The one hour introduction to Equality in Construction will be available from the 4th of June with a launch webinar on the 30th of June at 1pm  please get in touch if you would like a sample of the training or to register your interest in the webinar.